In Writing

Before we had email and texts, we had paper and that was it.

Reams upon reams of it. Our house was stuffed with paper.

Books of poetry. Books of cartoons. Books of art.

Books for teaching. Books for dreaming. Books filled with the addresses of old friends.

Books of pictures of people that were, apparently, related to us.

Storybooks; technical books; photobooks; notebooks; chequebooks; receipt books.

Diaries and journals. Books of lyrics and plays and propaganda.

Books filled with flowers as thin as the pages they lay on.

And, of course, boxes of books of correspondence.

“Always get them to write it down,” my Mother would say, “so you have proof of what was said.”

“You’ll be surprised how often people forget,” my Father would add, smirking wryly.

I’ve never been able to keep a journal except in the most tumultuous times, when the pen’s scratching helped me process the change; to cope.

But I always keep a record of official correspondence.

You’d be surprised how many people turn tail and run at the sight of a piece of paper with their words on it.